Do you know how to read people?
May 12, 2019

Darrell waits for me in the car while I dash into the lobby of the post office to mail a package to Katie. There’s someone in line ahead of me mailing a package of her own. She’s being helped by a clerk I don’t recognize. But what a show he’s putting on! “Is there anything fragile,” he practically sings, “or liquid, or perishable?” When she says no he takes the stylus and, with great flourish, shows her what to click to tell the computer that.

They keep talking, I keep being riveted. There’s something spellbinding about the guy. Now I’m distracted, though. Another clerk shows up to help me. I take care of business and join Darrell in the car. I can’t resist sharing what I’ve just witnessed. “There’s a new clerk,” I tell him, “who’s just so…into…the mail. He talks about it like he’s in a play or something. There’s something theatrical about him. It’s a little disturbing, actually.” Because, you know, this is a post office.

A week goes by, and now I’m back at the post office mailing another package to Katie. This time Mr. I’m Really Into the Mail helps me. He punches the destination into the computer and says, “Oh. That’s my old neighborhood.” I look at him, wide-eyed. “Greenwich Village?” I ask. He says yes. And since he started this I add, “What were you doing there?” He was an actor. Anything I’d recognize? “Law & Order,” he says. “General Hospital…” His mentor’s Jeffrey Tambor, and the rest of our exchange is straight out of Entertainment Tonight.

I can’t resist telling him what I just told you. I even tell him about the “disturbing” part! He howls with laughter, and says he plans to tell his acting teacher about it.

Maybe you’re tempted, as I was, to think this man has way too much personality for a job at the post office. Let’s change that, shall we? Let’s make it, “He has just the right amount.” I can’t help wondering what the world would be like if we were met by people like him at every turn.

Exhausting, yes.

In a good way!